By Sam Coles:
It’s the month of Halloween so it’s time to play games that scare you and what a great way to start this month off with possibly one of the best games ever made known as Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 4 reinvigorated series as it was completely scraped and redone from the ground up as the game was picked up by the original creator Shinji Mikami and he changed everything and ditched some of the traditional Resi tropes.
Resident Evil 4 begins by giving the player a quick reminder of the first three games which has no relation to the plot of the game as a whole, but it’s a nice touch. You play as Leon S. Kennedy he is no longer a rookie cop in the Racoon City Police Department he now works for the secret service and is tasked to find the President’s daughter in Rural Spain as she has been kidnapped by a religious cult. The plot is laughable and stupid but I love it as it goes for an un-ironic B-movie camp with intentional and unintentional humour throughout and it will leave you grinning ear to ear throughout.
The gameplay was a huge departure from the other games for better or worse depending who you’re talking to, but I love it as it has great third person action but it is still a Survival Horror first and foremost. You still have to manage your ammunition and healing items as in some sections they can be scarce and there were points where I had very little ammo. The combat is almost like Dark Souls and I know you’re probably thinking that’s a weird comparison, but it’s a good one because you have to analyse the animations and timings where you then get into a rhythm.
The third person action is great with crunchy and satisfying combat coupled with great weapons and timed melee combat with roundhouse kicks that send enemies flying. You’ll collect treasure throughout your adventure and this attributes to new weapons, upgrades and a larger inventory, let’s talk about the inventory system. The Attaché inventory system is great as you can neatly organise your weapons, ammo and healing items anyway you choose and it’s almost a game within itself organising your items, but this is the only time they would use this system in Resident Evil.
Presentation is still surprisingly beautiful considering it came out 11 years ago on the PS2 and GameCube; I’m playing this game on the PS2 if you’re curious. Yes the colour scheme has a grey and brown hue to it but that adds to muddy and rundown atmosphere of the village. It does get a colourful when you get to the castle with beautiful hallways and art hanging from the walls. It’s bizarre that the game still looks good considering it was shooting for a realistic aesthetic and games from that era that try to look realistic look terrible these days, but Resident Evil 4 is the exception.
The major problem I have with this game are the quick time events and I’m not talking about during gameplay where it gives you a prompt kick I’m of course talking about during the cutscenes. It drives me up the wall because a cutscene is supposed to be a break from gameplay but Resident Evil 4 would like to argue and throws up random button prompts during scenes which will catch you off guard if you haven’t played the game before.
Resident Evil 4 is a fantastic game and is a great way to start your Halloween as it has a creepy atmosphere but at the same time it has great action without forgetting that it is a Survival Horror at heart. You can get this game on every system under the sun from 2005 to now so there is no excuse for you not to play it.